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The Teen Euthanasia That Wasn’t

By   /  June 7, 2019  /  17 Comments

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Here’s something potentially rather interesting. You know that 17 year old Dutch teenager whom an appreciably large proportion of just about everybody’s newsfeed and/or Letters To The Editor section is jumping up and down about? The one apparently legally euthanized, and therefore how terrible a thing legal euthanasia is we can’t have it here?

Well, apparently … that’s not actually what happened at all.

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Here’s something potentially rather interesting. You know that 17 year old Dutch teenager whom an appreciably large proportion of just about everybody’s newsfeed and/or Letters To The Editor section is jumping up and down about? The one apparently legally euthanized, and therefore how terrible a thing legal euthanasia is we can’t have it here?

Well, apparently … that’s not actually what happened at all. Instead, it appears that what actually transpired was the kid applied for euthanasia, was refused, repeatedly attempted suicide anyway, and then eventually, just straight-up stopped eating/drinking – at which point, her family and medical team finally acquiesced to her wishes, and agreed not to force-feed her, moving her to palliative care.

Now, your mileage may vary as to … well, pretty much this whole thing.

It could certainly be argued that actually having let the child go ‘on her own terms’ prior to all of this, would have been an awful lot less traumatic than having several months worth of repeated suicide attempts, endeavours to have her subjected to electro-shock therapy, before finally conceding that in the absence of ye olde feeding tube down nose, she was going to get her way eventually anyway.

But it seems like, at this point, an array of both news media organizations – and, for that matter, jump-up-and-down-hand-wringing social conservative pseudo-political groups, have deliberately bait-and-switched a story up, in order to try and oppose any meaningful progress on euthanasia law reform in their own countries, riding high off the back of one obviously tortured girl’s personal misery.

I can understand why the idea of the state allowing 17 year olds to put themselves to death would be scary. Because it is. [I personally find the idea of forcing teenagers to carry pregnancies to term to also be rather scary, but then I am over here in the #ProDeath camp, apparently, so once again, YMMV]

But I’m not of the opinion that there’s a very sensible comparison to be made between “we allowed a teenager to access a state-supported facility for getting us to kill them” – which is what everybody seems to think happened;

and “after many months of effort, we stopped attempting to force-feed or otherwise forcibly keep alive against her own wishes, a person”.

It could be argued that the overall outcome is the same. And yeah, sure, one less person on the planet.

But I don’t think that it is. Not really. And not least because only one of these things apparently happened.

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"Part Apache; Part Swede. Part Attack Helicopter; Part Kitset Furniture."

17 Comments

  1. Sam Sam says:

    Humans are so ingenious. But this could be as an holistic approach. That being said this is really fucked up.

  2. SPC says:

    Our Stuff media repeated the lie and offered no retraction afterwards.

    Part of the Dom Posts new sensitivity to conservative moral arguments – they editorialsied about it, is apparently to be careless with the truth.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/113161901/ignorance-is-not-bliss-when-it-comes-to-conservative-views

    An editorial after a series of columns by Mr Magoo (Karl du Fresne) on the topic.

  3. Z says:

    I’ve noticed an increase in the number of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors on Stuff. Not much of a gap between this and fake news.

  4. Graham Adams says:

    Anyone fiercely opposed to assisted dying/euthanasia loves to find sensational examples from Belgium or The Netherlands even though they usually bear no comparison to anything proposed under David Seymour’s bill (and certainly not if the eligibility criteria are tightened to be available only to the terminally ill, as Seymour proposes).
    In this case, it has backfired on the likes of Maggie Barry, Chris Penk and Paula Tesoriero who reposted/tweeted the story … and instantly exposed their tactics of fear-mongering.

    • D'Esterre says:

      Graham Adams: “…it has backfired on the likes of Maggie Barry, Chris Penk and Paula Tesoriero who reposted/tweeted the story…”

      Indeed. Tiresome people who love to lecture us on various social issues. They’d have done well to have taken a sceptical approach to reportage of this sort, and done a bit of digging on their own account.

      In any event, I’d be obliged if they’d stop telling the rest of us what to think about such matters.

      • Mjolnir says:

        Well said, D’ESTERRE

        Whatever one’s personal opinion on euthenasia, its a deeply personal matter and others should butt out of how I determine my own ending

        Its telling that despite Curwen’s excellent investigation, there are still apologists wgo insist on “Yes, But” response

        As if discovering the the teen euthenasia story can be swept under the priverbial carpet until a new bit of fake news makes the rounds. Whether anti abortionists, anti vaxxers, anti 1080ers(dead birds on parliament steos anyone?), or anti euthanists, if a so called movement has to rely on bogus stories and lies to push their cause, then its bankrupt of all legitamacy

  5. Chris O'Brien says:

    Mmmm Curwen Rolison,
    I’d be a little careful to make the assertion that there was not “extra” help in sending this little one on her way if I were you. Especially before the full facts come out. There are question marks as to what actually transpired. (read the NYT article on this.
    Let’s wait until the Review Review Committee makes its findings pubic.
    Euthanasia of children under the age of 12 remains technically illegal; however, Dr. Eduard Verhagen has documented several cases and, together with colleagues and prosecutors, has developed a protocol to be followed in those cases. Children over 12 may be euthanased, which should send alarm bells ringing here given Seymour’s bill threatens.

    • Sam Sam says:

      I can see the logic: post natal abortions are here already. But this is still really fucked us for one reason; At the end of the day the state would be still killing children. They may be mentally or terminally ill with no hope left in their lives, and ending their horrible existence may be the kindest thing any of them will ever experience, but someone still has to kill a child, and humans are generally against that.

    • D'Esterre says:

      Chris O’Brien: “I’d be a little careful to make the assertion that there was not “extra” help in sending this little one on her way if I were you.”

      You’ve read the story, right? She was 17: old enough to make her own decisions. She chose to die; her business, not ours.

      “read the NYT article on this.”

      Er – no thanks. The NYT is as reliable in its reportage as is the rest of the msm: that is, not at all.

    • SPC says:

      The proposed legislation is going to apply only to those with an unavoidable approaching death.

  6. D'Esterre says:

    “It could certainly be argued that actually having let the child go ‘on her own terms’ prior to all of this, would have been an awful lot less traumatic than having several months worth of repeated suicide attempts, endeavours to have her subjected to electro-shock therapy, before finally conceding that in the absence of ye olde feeding tube down nose, she was going to get her way eventually anyway.”

    Yup. Difficult to disagree with that.

  7. The story was plausible because there have been Dutch euthanasia cases on the grounds of psychological suffering. An example is a rape victim in her 20s who had PTSD and received euthanasia. The case was confirmed by the Dutch Euthanasia Review Commission and reported in the NZ Herald among others in May 2016.

    Last week’s story of the Dutch teen was not scaremongering by opponents if euthanasia. It was wrongly reported by respected international media. It was reposted and retweeted in good faith by several respected local media and many individuals.

    It is not the responsibility of individual MPs and people such as Paula Tessoriero to question the reporting by media such as Stuff and check out the original Dutch sources themselves.

    • Sam Sam says:

      Rubbish. If law enforcement, health and education was treated as a right these fringe issues of, I mean wtf? Running the clock down on kids? Get the out of here. This is a dumb idea. Poor planing. Knee jerk. Amazingly stupid. Low IQ, what else is it Y’know.

    • Mjolnir says:

      How about some citations, Rennee so we can determine the validity or otherwise of your claims??

      “Last week’s story of the Dutch teen was not scaremongering by opponents if euthanasia. It was wrongly reported by respected international media. It was reposted and retweeted in good faith by several respected local media and many individuals.”

      Yeah, right. Tui

      Opponants of euthenasia exploited the fake story

      You can’t tell us they didn’t know it was sheer BULLSHIT

      FFS, Curwen just posted the facts and now you’re makibg claims about some other supposed case?? Its like you’re trying to replace one piece of BS with another

    • D'Esterre says:

      Renee Joubert: “It is not the responsibility of individual MPs and people such as Paula Tessoriero to question the reporting by media such as Stuff and check out the original Dutch sources themselves.”

      Yes. It is. Those such as Tesoriero and Barry, who wish to impose their moral code upon the rest of us, have a special obligation to do due diligence on stories of this sort appearing in the news media.

      If they’re unaware that media reportage is frequently distorted or just plain wrong, they must have been living under a rock somewhere. This is far too important an issue for these worthies to be relying on such flimsy, sky-is-falling stories, to support their conviction that the rest of us can’t be trusted to make our own end-of-life choices.

  8. Glenn says:

    I went out for dinner the other night where I got chapter and verse about kids being put to sleep and junkies killing folk on the roads. I told them that I was voting yes for both the euthanasia and marijuana polls next election.
    They sulked, I left early.
    Going to be an interesting year or so until we get this over with.

    • D'Esterre says:

      Glenn: “I told them that I was voting yes for both the euthanasia and marijuana polls next election.”

      Me too, even though I’m of an age at which young people expect conservatism. And I am conservative about some issues, but not about these two.

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